As President Vladimir Putin blamed an encroaching West for his “special military operation” in Ukraine, at least six civilians were killed by Russia missile strikes. Roughly 20 missiles were fired into the southern port city of Kherson, Ukraine, during Putin’s speech, several of which struck a bus stop while people waited for public transport, devastating the area and injuring at least 15 people. Images of the aftermath showed bodies strewn across the ground and debris scattered across the destroyed street.
Russia used multiple-launch rocket systems to hit “residential areas, critical infrastructure facilities, a kindergarten, a hospital, private garages and cars” in Kherson, according to Ukraine’s southern task force, who released a statement on Facebook.
Several private homes were severely damaged, they added, while multiple apartments in multi-storey buildings were on fire as a result of a direct hit.
It is the latest round of Russian strikes that have killed Ukrainian civilians in what Putin has claimed is a targeted assault on critical infrastructure.
Ukrainian officials said at least 20 missiles had been fired at the city and in the nearby areas during Putin’s speech alone.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted photos of what appeared to be corpses in Kherson covered with sheets following the strikes.
On Telegram, he wrote: “The Russian army is heavily shelling Kherson. Again mercilessly killing the civilian population.
“The world has no right to forget for a single moment that Russian cruelty and aggression know no bounds.”
The southern task force added that “civilians … died in their own homes and workplaces” as a result of the Tuesday morning strikes.
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